COVID, Capitalism, and Consciousness

For quite sometime, I’ve been introspecting about my lifestyle and my ambitions in life. Like a lot of us, I have also been constantly fed the notion that my worth is only defined by my professional status, and how much I earn. I’ve followed the herd, studied what I didn’t want, initially to appease our worried parents, and then following the razzle-dazzle of the corporate world with a single ticket called MBA.

Entry to corporate taught me a lot of good things, and I’m thankful for that. But somewhere, in the race of increments and promotions, I lost the essence of the most important things in life. And it’s not just me, I’m sure a lot of us would connect. Slogging beyond work hours brought a sense of satisfaction, ignoring our health, having imbalanced guts, hormonal imbalance, unfit bodies and piling stock of pills, low-nutrition take-outs, alcohol and anti-depressants have become a part of many people’s lives.

Discorded relationships, futile networking, and lack of quality time with family and friends, and the often quoted - “I’m too busy to spend time with you” is widely recognized as good work ethic. 

Our sense of achievement comes from the number of expensive things we own, the fancy places we visit, and what not. Capitalist society has made us believe that money and materialism can bring us joy, even when every salary increase just proves it wrong. There’s never an end to the greed and need as we grow. 

I’m not against making money. In fact, I strongly believe that we all must be financially independent. But what I ponder is, how we earn, what does it really cost us, and what do we really spend it on. Is sacrificing your health and mental peace worth all the money that you make? Should your sense of worth come only from the brands that you wear, the things you own, and your ostentatious spends? Are futile short term relationships and ignoring family and friends really a goal to have? 

As we’re at the doorstep of this global pandemic - the one which doesn't differentiate based on our socio-economic status, it’s time we revisit our notions, our thoughts, and our priorities in life. What really matter if you want to have a happy life?

Memes and jokes about being lazy, being undisciplined, ignoring your physical health, haywire mental health, and futile relationships while funny, are a reflection of who we are as youth, a generation, and is indicative of where we’re headed. It’s time to shake up, to get a real life and focus on what’s wildly important right now. You may feel that short term self love is about a nice face mask, treating yourself to expensive stuff, hanging out all the time. But focus and discipline is the need of the hour. This world needs us as responsible creatures more than ever. Let’s not waste our intelligence only on minting money. Let’s learn to care - first for our self, then society, then our country and then go talking about and really doing something about the global issues. 

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